Theatre Bay Area Announces Finalists for Inaugural Awards

by Jacob Coakley
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Theatre Bay Area has announced the finalists for their inaugural awards program. The awards aim to honor the highest caliber of theare across the Bay Area and will take place on Monday, Nov. 10. Some 180 productions from 78 participating theatre companies were evaluated by 270 adjudicators, who recorded close to 3,000 ballots to select the final slate of finalists.

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SAN FRANCISCO (September 19, 2014) —Theatre Bay Area (TBA), the nonprofit service organization for theatre and dance in the Bay Area, has announced the finalists (http://www.bit.ly/1wJKIkY) for the inaugural year of the TBA Awards. This new, peer-adjudicated awards program has been created to celebrate artistic achievement in professionally oriented theatre across the entire Bay Area. Awards will be announced in almost two dozen categories in each of three tiers designed to reflect a theatre company’s resources and professional affiliations.

Awards will be presented in a glittering celebration at the American Conservatory Theater’s history Geary Theater on Monday, November. 10.  Tickets for the event, open to the public, go on sale at the A.C.T. Box Office (www.act-sf.org/tba) on Friday, September 26. 

“Our goal is to shine a spotlight on the outstanding caliber of professionally oriented theatre in the Bay Area with awards that are peer-based and encompass theatres of all sizes and localities from San Jose to Santa Rosa, San Francisco and the East Bay,” said Brad Erickson, Executive Director of Theatre Bay Area.

Participation in this year’s kick-off program is tremendous, according to Erickson. Some 180 productions from 78 participating theatre companies were evaluated by 270 adjudicators, who recorded close to 3,000 ballots to select the final slate of finalists.  Adjudicators are theatre professionals, such as actors, directors, designers, administrators, journalists and educators, who evaluated the productions submitted by participating theatre companies. 

In addition to the awards themselves, TBA’s program recognizes productions throughout the year selected as “recommended” by the adjudicators. According to Erickson, the TBA Awards program incorporates the best practices of existing systems in LA, Chicago and other major theatre centers and will serve to raise public awareness of the vitality of theatre in the Bay Area, which is the third largest theatre center in the country with more than 400 theatres.

This year’s inaugural awards cycle ran from January 1, 2014 through August 31, 2014. Future seasons will run a full twelve months from September 1 through August 31 each year. The awards program is managed by Robert Sokol, long-time Bay Area arts writer and creative director of the design and publishing firm VIA MEDIA. For more information about the awards categories, participating companies, and productions considered, visit theatrebayarea.org

TBA thanks American Conservatory Theater for being an Angel Level Sponsor and hosting the ceremony. Additional ceremony sponsors include Actors Equity Association and Wells Fargo Bank. The launch of the TBA Awards program was underwritten in part by funding from the Fleishhacker Foundation and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.    

The glittering awards celebration is open to the public at American Conservatory Theater’s historic Geary Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco) beginning at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 10.  Tickets will be available through the A.C.T. Box Office, starting September 26 (https://tickets.act-sf.org/online/). Ticket prices range from $35 to $125.     

About Theatre Bay Area

Theatre Bay Area was founded in 1976 to serve the vital artistic community of the Bay Area, and is today one of the largest regional theatre service organization in North America, known for its innovative programs and serving as a model for other service organizations around the country. Its mission is to unite, strengthen, promote and advance the theatre community in the San Francisco Bay Area, based on the conviction that the performing arts are an essential public good, critical to a healthy and truly democratic society, and invaluable as a source of personal enrichment and growth.

The San Francisco Bay Area is the third largest theatre center in the country, with more than 400 companies in nine counties. The region boasts more theatre companies per capita than almost any other metropolitan area in the US, and is home to the third largest community of Equity (union) actors, following New York City and Chicago. Some 200 new plays are premiered here each year, many going on to wider success.